“… about three weeks into every semester, a student would raise his or her hand and say, ‘I’ve never heard this stuff before.’
“I began to respond by saying, ‘you’re welcome! You or your parents are paying me thousands of dollars to tell you things that you don’t know. This is what we call “education” and it sounds like I’m doing my job.’”
“It began to dawn on me, however, that there was something about evangelical culture that was making these students assume that if something was unfamiliar, it was unbiblical. …
“What strikes me as odd is that the very thing I have come to associate with studying the Bible—the excitement of discovery—is the very thing that somehow frustrates the evangelicals I’ve been teaching.
“Like I said, I think this indicates that there’s something warped about how evangelicals regard the Bible. …
“… we please God when we are diligent students, which implies that we are always learning and that it’s okay (and normal) that there are things we don’t know!’ …
“My advice is to get to know the Bible over time—like, over decades. There aren’t five easy steps to Bible knowledge. I’ve told students in the past to measure their knowledge of the Bible in 5-year increments. And when I’ve said that, I could hear sighs of relief.
“Remember that the aim of getting to know Scripture is not to be equipped to get out there and have ‘impact.’
“The purpose of knowing the Bible is to develop Scripture-shaped minds so that we get to know and love God more faithfully, being transformed so that we love and serve others more creatively. The goal of Bible knowledge is the cultivation of virtue. And this is something that only happens over time.
“And the learning process itself transforms us, so we shouldn’t think that at some point we’ll be finished, “fully equipped” to get out there and put our knowledge to effective use.”
Bible & translation: Fifteen More Myths About Bible Translation by Daniel Wallace
“Perhaps the number one myth about Bible translation is that a word-for-word translation is the best kind.”
Certainty: The Lust for Certainty by Ben Witherington
“… we have to live on the basis of faith every day, not on the basis of some certainty or an ironclad guarantee.”
“The Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches assembles various data on churches and denominations across North America. I recently gleaned the top 15 denominations by membership in the United States from their reports.”
Contentment: Five Steps to Peace in a Really Bad Situation
“… how can we get peace if we’re headed into or in the midst of a crisis? God tells us how to do just that in Phil. 4:4-9.”
“… the question of how to reply to hurtful statements is that each mourner must make up his or her own mind in each situation as to what would be the wisest method or statement to make. If you do decide to immediately reply to a painful statement from a well-intentioned, goodhearted, but ignorant comforter, you might want to consider the following questions first …”
Holy Week: 9 Things You Should Know About Holy Week
“Holy Week is the week before Easter, a period which includes the religious holidays of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. Here’s what you should know about the days that commemorate the Passion of Christ.”
Internet, maturity, & social media: * Social Media Becoming Integral Part of Churches; * NT Wright on Blogging & Social Media [3 1/2 min. video]; * Shortcut for Blocking Games on Facebook; * The Internet: It’s Like Never Leaving Junior High [essential reading]
* “From websites to blogs, podcasts and Twitter, church leaders are embracing social media as a way to spread the word of God, to share information and to woo new members.”
* “I have one big worry about that, which is the isolationism of sitting in front of a screen. Even if there’s lots of other voices there. it’s only a screen.”
* “That’s all there is to it. If you get a notification from an app in your notifications menu that comes from an app you just don’t want to ever see again, a few clicks and you’ll never be bugged again. Nice.”
* “If life is just like high school, then the Internet might be an age group lower. Much of our digital world means never having to leave junior high school behind. … Janet Sternberg, a communications professor at Fordham University in New York who’s written a great deal about online civility, sees a reverse of a pattern created by television. If, as cultural critic Neil Postman asserted, TV ended childhood — the medium provided an impetus for young people to act older, which created hand-wringing about generations growing up too quickly — the Internet has done the opposite, she says. ‘The Internet and digital media have produced this “Peter Pan effect” where we never grow up, we’re perpetual children, we never have to be responsible for anything — we keep this juvenile mentality,’ she says.”
Note-taking: The Lost Art of Note-Taking by Michael Hyatt
“I don’t recall anyone ever teaching me how to take notes. I didn’t learn it in school—not even college. Nor did I learn it on the job. It was something I had to pick up on my own. Maybe this is why so few people bother to take notes during meetings or presentations. No one has ever told them why it is important or how to do it. In this episode, I do both.”
Same-sex marriage: If the Supreme Court Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage, What Next?
“The biblical ideal of self-sacrificing, lifelong, heterosexual marriage is already countercultural. … If we have placed our trust in the God who does not change, we need not fear shifts in culture or law. … No plan A will skirt the issue that we are all sinners in need of a savior. We are on a level playing field with gays and lesbians who, in my experience, can detect condescension and hypocrisy a mile away.”
Television: 5 Reasons TV is Dead by Scott Elliott
“The mediums which we use to entertain ourselves or receive information come and go, but art is here to stay.”
The Bible mini-series: The Bible Series — Drama and Historical Context
“One of the aspects that I appreciate in the New Testament episodes of The Bible series is the attention paid to historical context. … This is not, of course, to suggest that attempts to provide historical context trump the drama.”